CANU raids Charlestown house; large quantity of cocaine, ganja unearthed
Ranks of the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) on Tuesday morning swooped down on a Charlestown, Georgetown, house where they unearthed a large quantity of cocaine and marijuana carrying in excess of $40 million in street value.
The intelligence-led operation was carried out at the St Stephen Street, Charlestown, home and lasted some seven hours. So far two persons – a male and female – were arrested, as CANU hunts for another suspect whom they believe might have a big role in the illegal trade.
Guyana Times understands that CANU ranks responded to intelligence of the “possibility of narcotics being stored at this location” and staked out the residence until they caught the suspect red-handed.
“…We would have conducted our own surveillance and what we saw was the person that we currently have in custody, he arrived this morning in the motorcar – PPP 3008. Shortly after, we saw a 42 minibus arrive as well. The suspect went into the house and came out back with a black plastic bag, which he handed over to the driver of the minibus. Then (he) returned to the house and came out with another bag which he placed in the back seat of the car. Then he walked away up the street. Basically, the ranks intercepted him then,” Deputy Head of CANU Leslie Ramlall told reporters at the scene on Tuesday afternoon.
According to Ramlall, after intercepting the suspect, he was taken back to his motorcar where he opened the vehicle for the ranks to conduct a search, during which they unearthed a black plastic bag containing cannabis.
That discovery, the Deputy CANU Head noted, caused the ranks to search the premises. However, this newspaper understands that they had to await the necessary documentation to carry out the search hence, the operation went on for hours.
“[We] conduct a search of the house and currently, we have a large quantity of suspected cannabis and maybe cocaine as well. What we’ve gathered as well this is narcotics that came out of Columbia…and this would’ve probably come within the last 48 hours, it arriving at this location,” Ramlall stated.
The narcotics were packaged off into small parcels. By the end of the operation, the anti-narco officers drove off with the tray of a pick-up vehicle loaded with the illegal drug. At the time, Ramlall could not say the quantity of the narcotics found. However, unconfirmed reports suggested there are about 15 pounds of cocaine and approximately 100 pounds of cannabis
Moreover, the CANU official could not say at the time whether the male suspect was living at the Charlestown residence. However, he did reveal that the female was in the house all along. Both have since been taken into custody and are assisting with further investigations.
Meanwhile, with regards to the minibus, Ramlall told reporters that checks were made but no one was arrested.
“[We] found the bus at home and conducted a search of that minibus and we didn’t find anything. Apparently, that person might have delivered whatever he had… [He] could be a delivery man [or] could be somebody bigger than the delivery man, which we suspected so we’ll have to continue our investigations,” the Deputy CANU Head stated.
Nevertheless, Ramlall lauded the successful collaboration between members of the public and the anti-narcotics body.
“It confirms that we continue to rely heavily on the support of members of the public as well as our intel-capabilities. And we’re thankful that we continue to get this kind of support from the members of public and the intel-community as well,” he stated.
Investigations into the major narco-find will continue.
Positioned on the South American continent with strong ties to the Caribbean region, Guyana has long been identified as a transhipment point for major drug trafficking activities as well other transnational crimes, which local authorities have been tirelessly trying to curb.